Valentine’s Cookies

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Valentine Cookie PlateThese cookies are not only beautiful, but they are so delicious, but so easy for anyone to decorate.  Stripes, dots, outline, flowers.  Once you start, you’ll be hooked. 

 

I haven’t done to much decorating with a pastry bag and icing, but with a little practice, the cookies come out looking really beautiful.  Let me show you what I used and how I decorated the cookies.  First thing to remember, they don’t have to be perfect.  And, if you make a mistake, or you just don’t like what it looks like, wipe it off and start again.  You will have time before the icing hardens.  

 

 

Cookie Decorating Supplies

On the left are the supplies that I used to decorate.  Pastry bag, coupler, tips and plastic squeeze bottles.  I picked up all these supplies at my local Michael’s.  

 

On the right is a closer look at the tips that I used to decorate these cookies.  

Cookie decorating tips

 

 

Cookie Decorating examples

The first thing that you must do is practice.  See what each one of the tips will do.  I practiced going in a straight line, then I went back and forth in the line.  I also tried to create a different kind of line.  After that, I practiced making stars and small flowers.  The way you would make the stars and flowers that I used is to put the tip down on the paper, squeeze out some icing until you have the size you are looking for.  At that point, stop squeezing the icing bag and move the tip down then up to break off the icing.  

 

I used Wilton products.  If you go on their website, you will see that there are lots of tips and techniques that can be used to make all sorts of elaborate flowers, designs and pictures on cakes and cookies.  I practiced on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, but there is a practice board on the Wilton site that looks great.  

 

The icing that I used is typical Royal Icing.  There are two ways that you can make Royal Icing.  Either way is fine.  I used the meringue powder.  Royal icing gets hard pretty quickly, so if you aren’t going to use it all right away, you MUST cover it tightly or put it in a plastic ziploc bag so it will stay soft until you want to use it again.  

I divided the icing, keeping half white and the other half red.  I used red Wilton Icing color to make the icing really red. 

Royal Icing

1 Lb Confectioners Sugar

3 Egg Whites

1/2 tsp Cream of Tarter

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Royal Icing

1 Lb Confectioners Sugar

3 TBSP Meringue Powder

5 TBSP Warm Water

 

Valentine Cookie

For this one, i used an outline tip for the center, then used the edging tip to go around the outside of the small heart in white icing.  Then, using the flower tip, I filled in the middle.  For the dots, I used the outlining tip and went down and up with the decorating bag to create dots. 

Valentine Cookie1

For this one, I made a big heart in red, the edging tip to go inside the red heart, then with the outlining tip, I made a smaller red outline inside the pink cookie.  I filled it in with icing that was thinned out, then sprinkled the inside heart with red sugar.

Valentine Cookie3

This one was so easy, I outlined the pink heart. Then, I used the flower tip and went all around the edge of the cookie.

Valentine Cookie5

For this one, I put a very thin layer of red icing, then I went back over it with a thicker layer of red stripes.  Red sugar on top, and its done. 

 

I used a typical Sugar Cookie recipe to make the cookies, and used food coloring for 1/4 of the dough and rolled them out to 1/4 inch thick.   I used 2 heart cookie cutters to make the heart shapes, one medium size and one smaller.  As you can see, I kept some of the dough white, some red/pink and some multi color.  The most important thing is not to cook the cookies to long.  Just when they start to turn light brown, take them out.

 

Rolled Out Sugar Cookies

2 Eggs

2/3 Cup Shortening

2/3 Cup Soft Butter

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

3 1/2 Cups Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

2 tsp Vanilla

Beat eggs in a large mixer bow.   Add all remaining ingredients.  Mix on low speed until completely combined and dough forms.  Flour surface of board and turn out dough onto board.  Form a ball and divide in half.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Roll out to 1/4 inch.  Cut with cookie cutter.  Bake in 375º oven for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Valentine Cookie Dough

Valentine Cookie Dough1

Valentine Cookie Dough2

Valentine Cookie Done

Valentine Cookie Done1

Valentine Cookie Done2

 

 

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Biscotti

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Biscotti

Biscotti is delicious.  Whenever I tell people that I make biscotti, they look at me in horror because of how difficult they think it is. But, it isn’t difficult at all.  This is one of the easiest recipes that I have ever made, and it comes out perfect every time.  I didn’t create this recipe (it’s on the internet), but I have made other biscotti recipes and this is the one that I stick to.  The other thing about biscotti is the many variations that you can make. In these biscotti, I put chocolate chips and almonds and they were great.  If you are going to make a new cookie recipe this season, make biscotti.  Your family and friends will definitely be impressed.

 

Ingredients

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

3 Eggs

1 Cup Sugar

1 TBSP Anise Extract

3 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 TBSP Baking Powder

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375º.  Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and anise extract until well blended.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.  Stir flour mixture into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough.  Divide dough into 2 pieces.  Form each piece into a roll as long as your cookie sheet and press down to 1/2 inch thickness.  

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.  When the cookies are cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2-inch slices.  Place slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet.  Bake for an additional 6 to 10 minutes on each side.  Cookie slices should be lightly toasted.

 

Biscotti Variations without changing the basic recipe:

  1.  Dip 1/2 the cookie in melted chocolate
  2. 1 Cup Dried Cranberries; 1 Cup Pistachios or Almonds; 1 Cup White Chocolate pieces or chips
  3. 1 Cup Almonds; 1/2 Cup Dried Apricots
  4. 1 Cup Chocolate Chips

 

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Coconut Macaroons

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Cocount Macaroons

This is a recipe is not a new one. I have tried several other coconut macaroon recipes and this one is by far the best.  I make them plain or with chocolate either drizzled on top or a layer of chocolate on the bottom.  Anyway you choose, they are great.  

 

 

Ingredients

14 oz Shredded Coconut

14 oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Extra Large Egg Whites

1/4 tsp salt

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325º

Mix the coconut, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until medium-firm peaks form.  Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop using a 1 3/4 scoop or 2 teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet, or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until they are golden brown. 

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies are delicious and very easy to make.  If you are looking for a quick recipe, this is it.

 

 

Ingredients

2 1/4 Cups Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed

2 Eggs

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Butter, softened

2 tsp Espresso Powder

1 Cup Nuts, Chopped

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

1 Cup Chocolate Chunks

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375º

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, soda, expresso powder and salt.  Combine.  Add the sugars, eggs, vanilla and butter.  Mix until smooth.  Stir in the nuts, chips and chocolate chunks.

Drop by teaspoonful, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden.  Remove to wire rack to cool. 

 

 

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My Sister’s Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

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My Sister's Raspberry Thumbprints

These cookies are amazing.  Buttery with nuts and delicious raspberry preserves in the center.  My sister makes them every year for the holidays and everyone looks forward to having them.  They are truly a family favorite.

 

Ingredients

1 Lb Butter

4 Eggs, separated

4 Cups Flour

1 Cup Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

2 Cups Walnuts, chopped

Raspberry Preserves (Small Jar)

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350º

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla until they are light and fluffy.  

Add the flour and continue mixing until all the ingredients are combined.

Shape into 1 inch balls.  Whisk the egg whites with a fork.  Roll the balls into the egg whites, then in the chopped nuts. Place on ungreased cookie sheet 2-inches apart.  Press thumb into center of ball and fill with raspberry preserves.

Cook 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. 

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